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Friday, December 17, 2010

The spirit of participation is alive and well at wwp

Yesterday evening's members' holiday party was so much fun and a huge success. The night started off with a vernissage in the sunroom. On display were paintings done by participants on the recent painting autumn colours weekend (see our October post for more details), and over glasses of bubbly the artists gave wwp members an insight into the thought processes and practical processes that underlay their works. This act of sharing was in keeping with the overall philosophical theme of the evening - participation - and set the tone for our showcasing of the creative side of wine women and philosophy, and our celebration of what we have produced as a group this past year.

Moving through to the salon we listened to the wwp band, The Elegant Hedgehogs. Formed less than 4 months ago, and growing out of an impromptu band jam weekend (see our August post for more details) at the Nurtury, band members Wendy (guitar), Heather (clarinet), Sue (clarinet), Sherrie (guitar), and Linnet (flute) not only looked very elegant in their 'hedgehogs rock' T-shirts (bought specially and arriving just in time for the occasion)...The quintet also showed just what comes of that old mantra - "practice, practice, practice" - and a passion for playing together. The segue between the band's three pieces and the wwp choir's contribution to the evening was an ensemble rendition of The Rainbow Connection. This was only the second time that the band and choir had joined forces (the first was a run-through rehearsal last week) and the result was amazing. Choir members Kathy, Linda, Janice, Marian and Linnet then proceeded to entertain us with some wonderful numbers, ranging from the soulful Down to the River to Pray to the foot-tapping Sunny Side of the Street. Choir director Kathy and pianist Linda then organized us all into a participatory Carol singing session. After warming up our voices on those familiar old chestnuts of the holiday season, the seasonal sing-song culminated in wwp's now 'traditional' singing of The Christmas Gloria in two-part harmony. We were great! Or at least, so the resulting high fives that followed this year's glorious rendition of the song would indicate.

After a break for some festive refreshments, we had a visit from Ms Claus (Pat) and her faithful elf (Sue) who gave out presents in true Santa style! Towards the end of the evening we gathered to talk about the proposed table runner for the Nurtury. Each member explained the significance of the piece of fabric she is contributing to the runner that will celebrate the 2 year mark of wine women and philosophy. We all took inspiration from the beautiful quilt that Sheelah is currently working on with her quilting group, and Sheelah gave us some ideas as to how we might pull our own quilting project together. Liz suggested that we should make a weekend of it - sitting round the fire up at the Nurtury, drinking some wine, doing some applique, and sewing up the runner. Not surprisingly, there were many keen takers for this idea.

As ever a big thanks to everyone who participated in last night's salon - we really are blessed with wonderful members! Two years on, we feel that we are in the midst of a special collective energy and truly believe that wine women and philosophy is being nurtured and propelled by more than just us. It is so rewarding to see our dreams for a women-driven pedagogy emerging out of what we have created together. We are delighted to welcome new members Barbara Ann, Nancy and Brenda to the fold. And, in addition to them, we want to thank Marianne, Kathy, Wendy, Heather C, Bernice, Janice, Carolyn, Pat G, Sue, Elizabeth, Allannah, Heather D, Marilyn, Patrice, Sheelah, Rose, Linda, Marian and Sherrie for making the party something special to remember.

If anybody took photos of the evening please send them along. As you can tell, we were too busy having a good time to take more than this one photo of the band and choir warming up - hardly a representative picture of this entire evening's participatory action! And for those members who have yet to drop off their fabric for the table runner, we're waiting...

We wish all our members and supporters a very happy holiday. See you next year!